Pancreatic cancer is the third most common cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Surgical resection with negative margins still constitutes the cornerstone of potentially curative therapy, but is possible only in 15–20% of patients at the time of initial diagnosis. Accumulating evidence suggests that the neoadjuvant approach may improve R0 resection rate in localized resectable and borderline resectable diseases, and potentially downstage locally advanced disease to achieve surgical resection, though the impact on survival is to be determined. Despite advancements in the last decade in developing effective combinational chemo-radio therapeutic options, preoperative treatment strategies, and better peri-operative care, pancreatic cancer continues to carry a dismal prognosis in the majority. Prodigious efforts are currently being made in optimizing the neoadjuvant therapy with a better toxicity profile, developing novel agents, imaging techniques, and identification of biomarkers for the disease. Advancement in our understanding of the tumor microenvironment and molecular pathology is urgently needed to facilitate the development of novel targeted and immunotherapies for this setting. In this review, we detail the current literature on contemporary management of resectable, borderline resectable and locally advanced pancreatic cancer with a focus on future directions in the field.
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